Dental Abscess- Causes, Symptoms, Types and Treatment

A dental abscess generally results due to a bacterial infection and is characterized by the build-up of pus inside the gums or the pulp of the tooth. Though the main cause of dental abscess is bacterial infection, but the infection can take place due to various reasons. The reasons can be:

  • Eating too much sweets
  • Not brushing or flossing properly
  • Tooth trauma or injury

Bacteria from the food accumulate on teeth in form of plaque. Daily brushing and flossing keep bacteria off the bay, however, sometimes even after proper brushing these bacteria can make their way into the tooth and cause an abscission.


At the earlier stage of formation, a dental abscission may go unnoticed causing slight discomfort or minor pain. However, as the infection worsens, following symptoms can be observed:

  • Severe pain
  • Discomfort while chewing and biting
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums; sometimes the lower neck region might get swelled as well
  • Fever
  • A draining sore may also develop as the infection spreads

Most of the times if the problem is not dealt with immediately, the tooth may end up getting dead due to the infection. This may kill the pain for a while but it does not mean that the infection has stopped. After killing one tooth, the bacteria might then spread further inside the gums destroying other teeth. An abscess can also get further complicated and cysts may develop inside the gums. In extreme cases, the bacteria may enter into the blood stream and cause infection in other parts of the face. The bacteria may also spread towards the sinuses causing blockage and severe pain.


Main types of dental abscess are:

  • Gingival abscess: In this type of abscess, the infection is only restricted to the gums. The periodontal ligament of the tooth is not infected neither does the infection spread to the periapical region (soft pulp of the tooth).
  • Periodontal abscess:In this type of abscission, the infection affects the periodontal region, the bone of the tooth. The tissue, separating tooth from the gum, may get inflamed and resultantly, a pocket may develop underneath the tooth.
  • Periapical abscess:In periapical abscess, the infection integrates deep inside the soft pulp of the tooth. The tooth gets inflamed and becomes fragile and porous.


How a dental abscess is treated, depends upon the type of the abscess. Before employing any method, a Diamond Bar dentist would carefully examine the problem to determine which kind of abscess does the patient have. Treatments used for dental abscesses are:

  • Incision: The abscess is cut and then drained. Incision is the most common way of treating an abscess. Usually gingival abscess is treated this way.
  • Root Canal:  Root canal is another very common treatment for tooth abscission. Root canal is employed only if the patient had periodontal abscess or periapical abscess. In root canal, the infected tooth is extracted, the pulp is cleaned, abscess is removed and a crowning is done at the place of the old tooth.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are prescribed by dentists in Diamond Bar either at the earlier stage of the abscess or at the later stage along with other treatments.
About the Author
Harry Lloyd is an e-marketing consultant, specializing in the US healthcare sector. Having worked with multiple private practices, Lloyd believes in promoting cultural values that make up an organization. Representing the family clinic of Dr. Gurz, Lloyd focuses on promoting advanced, non-excruciating dentistry treatments the Diamond Bar dentist specializes in. The dentist in Diamond Bar CA also offers zero interest financing and senior citizen discount.

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